You’ve saved. Hustled. Waited.
Its finally here! That longed after vacation you’ve fought so hard for. For some reason, when we think of vacation we imagine it being this magical experience where no one barfs or poops. Or throws tantrums, comes down with a virus, or has bad moods. Everything is going to be perfect when you take your children on vacation.
That was a bold faced lie. Most likely it’s not going to go smoothly. You’re going to threaten your kids to have fun or else because you “worked your buns off for them to be able to experience this when other kids out there don’t get to”.
There is so much build up, preparation, and hard work that happens when we prepare family vacations that we hold very high expectations for what it should actually be. Because we’re exhausted and overwhelmed and it’s about time we’ve reaped the reward of working so hard for it.
That’s the first mistake. Don’t have expectations. Just focus on it being different from your day to day grind and being able to spend time with your family in a new and more intimate environment. Don’t force your child to go on a ride that clearly terrifies them because “you worked hard to get them here”.
My husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to go to Disney World alone for two days. We watched the parents of an about 13 year old boy get the what for because he started to have second thoughts as we approached the end of he line. How is that vacation? How is that fun? Kids don’t know what they want. One minute looking at a ride looks fun and then after they’ve had time to think about it, maybe that looks more scary than fun.
If we can all just take a deep breath and relax with no expectation other than a new experience, vacation would be a lot more enjoyable.
Of course we want to have fun. And we want our kids to have fun. But we’re also all in a new environment and doing something that’s out of the ordinary which can be stressful for everyone.
After attempting several vacations that turned into stressful disasters, I’ve learned vacationing with kids is 0% what it was like to vacation after them ( duh, right?). It’s a learning experience in itself on how to enjoy vacations again, and sometimes we don’t cognitively acknowledge that. We literally have to relearn how to have fun on vacation.
The next time you’re standing in line at Disney with your precious crew and the 3 year old suddenly has to pee 2 minutes before you get on the ride while the baby simultaneously poops through their diaper, just laugh. Remember vacations are not what they used to be. Enjoy the parenting in a different environment because that’s what vacations are for us now. It’s better than being stuck at home right?! Or is it?
Just have fun!